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The L&D Forum

I came across this interesting article on the back of research carried out by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. It reveals that the brain has various mechanisms and constraints which re-orgnaises its neural activity when learning over the course of a few hours.

The research examined the changes that take place in the brain when learning a new task.

When we are learning a new task, we can't learn it instantly to proficiency, partly due to the way that the neurons are wired up in the brain.  Learning takes time and there are mechanisms by which neurons can change the way that they communicate with each other to enable learning; some of which can be fast and some of which can take longer.

When reading this, it highlighted to me the importance of making sure that learning is embedded and that with any new skill we learn, we need to regularly practice this to gain competence.

I have attached the full article from Medical Express below.


It would be great to get your thoughts on this.  Please comment below, to join the discussion.





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  • Thank you Karen for sharing.

    My thoughts on this, a part from the very importatnt embedding and deliberate practice you talk about, are that it also confirms how our brains are cleverly saving energy by using what we already know before shaping new activity.

    It makes sense that it goes to find pathways already formed, how smart is that! ('to repurpose the activity patterns it already knows how to generate"), the article calls it a 'quick & dirty fix' , for me it's really clever ;-)

    This has great implication for learning in harmony witht the brain, when we ask participants about what they already know about the skilll/topic, the more we do this then it's easier / quicker to connect with new learning on top of the old.

    Thank you


  • Ah thanks Paul. Looking forward to reading your book when its published :)

  • Wow, that is important! Great find. Thanks Karen :-)

    And the research in the article will be going into my upcoming book on Learning Transfer because it is very relevant to ensuring learning gets used after a training course.

    Cheers, Paul



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